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How to Clean a Bong the Right Way: Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


how to clean a bong

Cleaning your bong is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable smoking experience. Over time, residue, grime, and resin build-up can accumulate both inside and on the top of the bong, affecting the taste of your smoke and even increasing the risk of health issues. Fortunately, cleaning bongs is easy and doesn't take long! Whether your bong is made of glass, plastic, ceramic, or another material, this step-by-step guide explores how to clean a bong with common household items, providing tips and tricks to keep your clean bongs in top shape for the long run.


Best Way to Clean Bongs: Each Type of Material

The kind of material used in making your bong can have a direct impact on how easy or not easy it is to clean. Let's take a look at the common types of bong materials and their associated cleaning process:

  • The material your bong is made of: Glass bongs are usually the easiest to clean, while silicone and plastic bongs may require more effort. You can use alcohol and salt to clean a glass bong but have to use special cleaning solutions for silicone and plastic since they are less brittle than glass.

  • The components your bong may have: The components used in your bong can also dictate your cleaning method. For instance, if your bong has intricate parts, you should never submerge it in water, or it may damage them. On the other hand, glass bongs can be safely submerged for a thorough cleaning.

How to Clean a Bong Made of Latex or Acrylic

Latex bongs are made from latex rubber, while acrylic bongs are crafted from acrylic plastic. These materials make them more affordable and durable than glass bongs. They come in various colors and designs, making them popular for their aesthetics. However, they require regular cleaning to maintain performance and prevent health risks due to their non-porous nature.


How to clean a bong made of latex or acrylic:

  1. Disassemble: Take apart all removable parts of the bong, such as the bowl and downstem.

  2. Rinse: Rinse the pieces with warm water to remove loose debris.

  3. Soak in Cleaning Solution: Fill a container with a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and salt. Soak the bong parts for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Scrub: Use a brush or pipe cleaner to scrub the inside of the bong and its components. For tough spots, use a cotton swab.

  5. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse everything with warm water to remove the cleaning solution and residue.

  6. Dry: Let all parts air dry completely before reassembling the bong.


How to Clean Bong Made of Silicone

Silicone bongs have gained popularity in recent years due to their durability and flexibility. These bongs are made from food-grade silicone, which makes them resistant to breakage and easy to clean. While they don't shatter like glass, silicone bongs often feature detachable parts for easy cleaning and assembly.


How to clean a bong made of silicone:

  1. Disassemble: Start by taking apart all detachable parts of the bong, such as the bowl and downstem.

  2. Rinse: Rinse each piece thoroughly with warm water to remove any loose debris and residue.

  3. Soak in Dish Soap Solution: Fill a container with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap. Place the parts in the soapy water and let them soak for at least 15-20 minutes.

  4. Scrub Gently: After soaking, use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub the inside and outside of the silicone bong. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as it may damage the material.

  5. Rinse Thoroughly: Once you've scrubbed away any dirt or residue, rinse all the parts with warm water to ensure that all the soap is completely washed away.

  6. Dry Completely: After rinsing, allow all the parts to air dry completely. This will help prevent any moisture from getting trapped inside the bong, which can lead to mold or unpleasant odors.


How to Clean a Glass Bong

Glass bongs are not only visually appealing but also provide a smooth smoking experience. To keep them in pristine condition, regular cleaning is necessary. With various shapes, sizes, and intricate designs, glass bongs offer a unique experience as users can see the smoke filter through water.


How to clean a bong made of made of glass:

  1. Disassemble: Start by separating all detachable parts of the glass bong, including the bowl, downstem, and any other accessories.

  2. Rinse: Run hot water through each piece to remove any loose debris and residue. The heat helps to loosen up stubborn buildup.

  3. Prepare Cleaning Solution: Fill a container or sink with hot water and add a glass cleaning solution designed for bongs and water pipes. Choose a brand specifically formulated for this purpose.

  4. Soak: Place all the glass pieces into the cleaning solution and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. This will help break down any remaining residue or stains.

  5. Scrub with Brushes: After soaking, use soft brushes designed for glass cleaning to scrub away dirt or buildup. Start with larger pieces like the base and work your way to smaller parts like the bowl and downstem for thorough cleaning. Be gentle yet firm to avoid glass damage.

  6. Rinse and Repeat: Once you've scrubbed each piece, rinse them thoroughly with hot water to remove any traces of the cleaning solution. Repeat this step if necessary until the pieces are completely clean.


cleaning with alcohol and salt

Using Household Items to Clean Stains and Resin

Cleaning bongs is all about removing the resin and other debris that builds up in your bong over time. This cleaning can be done using a combination of salt, hot water, and some cleaning solution or solvent. Let's explore how to clean bowls with household items in more detail.


Isopropyl Alcohol and Salt

Cleaning a bong with alcohol and salt is totally okay and is one of the best ways to clean bongs. This method is great for glass bongs because the combination of alcohol and salt will help to remove any stubborn residue or gunk.


How to clean a bong with alcohol + salt:

  • Start by draining the dirty water and rinsing it with hot water.

  • Place a generous amount of salt and rubbing alcohol into the bong.

  • Shake it vigorously, scrub any stuck-on debris with a cloth or pipe cleaner.

  • Rinse out with hot water and repeat if necessary.

  • Finally, rinse one last time with cold water.

Tips for Effective Cleaning:

Cover all surfaces with enough salt and alcohol. Use rock salt instead of table salt for better scrubbing. Add a few drops of dish soap for extra cleanliness. Note: Be cautious with silicone bongs as they may get damaged using this method.


Hot Water and Epsom Salt

If you've always wanted to know how to clean a bong without alcohol, then this is for you. Hot water and salt can also be used to clean a bong. This method is great for glass bongs because the heat helps soften debris, making it easier to remove the residue.


How to clean a bong with hot water + salt:

  • First, drain the dirty water and rinse it with hot water.

  • Generously pour some salt into the bong and fill it with hot water.

  • Shake vigorously, scrub any stuck-on debris with a cloth or pipe cleaner.

  • Let the solution sit for a few minutes before draining the dirty water.

  • Rinse with hot water and repeat if necessary.

  • Finally, rinse one last time with cold water.

Tips for Effective Cleaning:

  • Avoid using too hot water, as this can damage the bong.

  • The ideal bong cleaning temperature is about 110°F (43°C).


Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are also great for cleaning bongs because they act as a natural solvent that helps to break down resin and other stubborn contaminants. Plus, cleaning a bong with baking soda is a lot safer than using chemical-based cleaners.


How to clean a bong with baking soda + vinegar:

  • Start by draining the dirty bong water and rinsing it with hot water.

  • Place a generous amount of baking soda into the bong and add white vinegar to create a paste-like solution.

  • Shake vigorously to ensure all components are covered in the mixture.

  • Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse it with hot water.

  • Finally, rinse one last time with cold water.

Tips for effective cleaning:

  • Avoid using too much vinegar, which can make the cleaning solution too acidic and damage the bong. \

  • Don't have vinegar? Try using lemon juice or any type of mild acider.

  • Use a cloth or pipe cleaner to scrub away any stuck-on debris. This method can be used on silicone bongs.

  • However, it's best to spot-clean only since baking soda and vinegar can be abrasive.


the best ways to clean bongs with special chambers or percolators

Additional Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Bongs

Aside from the primary methods mentioned above, you can use a few additional tips and tricks for cleaning bongs.


Importance of Changing Water in Bong Regularly

It's important to change the water in a bong regularly. Not only will this keep it fresh, but it can help reduce the risk of bacteria or fungus forming that could be harmful to inhale:

  • Replacing dirty water with fresh and clean water can give you smoother hits and help avoid unpleasant tastes or smells when smoking. Additionally, it helps reduce the risk of bacteria forming, which is especially important if you share it with others.

  • If you don't change the bong water regularly, it can start to smell bad due to the accumulation of debris from previous smoke sessions. In addition, not changing the water can cause mold or bacteria to form and enter your lungs when smoking.

Frequency of Cleaning

  • How often should you clean your bong?: Depending on how frequently you use it and how long your smoke sessions are, you should aim to clean it at least once a week.

  • Factors Affecting Cleaning Frequency: To reduce the risk of contamination, clean your shared bong regularly. Look out for debris build-up or discolored water as signs that it's time for a cleaning session.

additional tips and tricks for cleaning bongs

Cannabis Conclusion & FAQ's

Smoking weed from your bong can be a great experience, but it's important to keep it clean. This guide provides a brief overview of how to clean a bong, as well as additional tips for maintaining your bong in order to ensure the best smoking experience. We hope this guide helps you keep your bong clean and free from bacteria or debris. Happy smoking!


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What is the fastest way to clean a bong?

The fastest way to clean a bong is by using a commercial bong cleaning solution. This method quickly breaks down residue and eliminates the need for prolonged soaking or scrubbing. Some popular bong cleaning solutions include Formula 420 and Resinate Cleaner.


How to Clean with Commercial Cleaner Solution

  1. Pour the solution into the bong

  2. Plug the openings

  3. Shake vigorously

  4. Let it sit for a few minutes

  5. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

What is the best thing to clean a bong with?

Isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt is the best way to clean bongs for many people. The alcohol helps to dissolve resin and other buildup, while the salt acts as an abrasive to scrub away any stubborn spots. For tough spots, use pipe cleaners or brushes.


What should you not clean a bong with?

Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach, dish detergent or materials that could scratch or damage the bong's surface. Avoid using boiling water, as it can cause sudden temperature changes that may lead to cracking. Stick to safe and gentle cleaning solutions like isopropyl alcohol and salt to preserve integrity.

how to clean a bong infographic


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